For many hours a day you’re away at work, or maybe at school. Yet your HVAC system keeps working, despite the house being empty. This needs a lot of energy and wastes money. You can considerably reduce this cost by setting the thermostat up or down as you head to work and setting it back to your preferred temperature when you return home. But how much should the thermostat be adjusted?
Here’s what the Department of Energy says about thermostat changes:
You can save up to 10% a year on HVAC costs by simply setting your thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day compared to its typical setting. The percentage of savings from setback is better for buildings in cooler climates than for those in more severe climates.
The tinier the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more affordable your total cooling bill should be. You can comfortably save energy through the winter by lowering the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and adjusting it lower while you're in bed or away from home. For summer, you can follow the same plan with central air conditioning by leaving your house warmer than normal when you are at work and tweaking the thermostat to a setting as warm as is comfortable for you when you're home and want cooling and to secure humidity control if necessary.
You may have been advised that making these adjustments are not worth it because your heating and cooling has to work harder to go back to your preferred temperature, undoing your savings, but the energy department puts that notion to rest, particularly for heaters: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.”
Programmable and Smart Thermostats
Regardless of the benefits of setting your thermostat each time you go to work, it’s easy to miss in the rush of getting ready and on your way. This is one perk of programmable and smart thermostats. You can set your thermostat to automatically change to a higher or lower temperature through your regular work hours. And with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature (or the programming schedule) remotely. This is very helpful if you’ve forgotten to adjust the setting before leaving for a trip.
Don't Forget the Pets
If you have a pet, think about their comfort too. Cats and dogs with thick fur won’t be comfortable with high temperatures. And pets with less fur might not be comfortable with cold temperatures. The same applies to tropical birds, fish and reptiles. Since temperature tolerances vary significantly by breed and species, so review them for your pets.
Other Perks of Adjusting Your Thermostat for When You’re Away
- Carbon emissions - The harder you operate your heating and air conditioning, the more carbon emissions you produce. Conserving energy decreases air pollution and greenhouse gasses.
- HVAC Longevity - Overworking your HVAC system can cut its life span and cause increased maintenance to be required. It also means the air filter will clog up sooner, making your air less clean.
If you have any concerns about your air conditioner settings, or if you need HVAC repair or maintenance, get in touch with the professionals at Stark Services, a big company with homegrown heart. We’re passionate about making the world a cozy place to live. Whether we’re keeping things warm, cooling things down or making the water flow, we have a lot of pride in keeping our customers and communities comfy and contented.
Experts — it’s in the name and core to our work. We work hard to help each member of our staff learn to be a skilled professional. We work with the best and provide instruction, opportunities and support, so our staff can learn, grow and be equipped for any kind of challenge thrown their way.
Our combined business strength and people separate us from other service companies. With more than 4,000 team members collaborating on making you comfortable, we can deliver and innovate more effectively than the competition. Our can-do, family-friendly attitude energizes our cooperation and helps us get the job done promptly, and right — the first time.
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